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Lebanon's Hariri resigns after nearly two weeks of nationwide protests

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Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced he was resigning on Tuesday, succumbing to the demands of protesters who have staged nationwide demonstrations for nearly two weeks, according to CNN.

 

The three-time prime minister has led a national unity government, which included some of his political adversaries, for less than two years. In recent months, the country saw rapid economic deterioration, ballooning debt and rising prices.


On October 17, the government proposed imposing a tax on Whatsapp calls, along with other austerity measures, sparking nationwide protests that paralyzed the country.

Lebanon has been under lock-down since the protests began. Banks and schools have been closed for 12 days, while protesters blocked major routes throughout the tiny eastern Mediterranean nation.

 

"I can't hide this from you. I have reached a dead-end," Hariri said in his resignation speech.


"To all my political peers, our responsibility today is how to protect Lebanon and to uplift the economy," he added. "Today, there is a serious opportunity and we should not waste it."


Scores of protesters in downtown Beirut cheered as Hariri announced his departure. At their peak, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to protest government corruption on Sunday.


Over the last week, protests have dwindled in number, concentrating on road closures on the country's main routes as the economic crisis has deepened.

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